"Logan Jacobs to see you sir," said Mathew Jacobs' secretary over the intercom.
"Send him in," replied Mathew as he laid the papers he was reading down. It wasn't often that he saw Logan, or his sisters, due to them living with their mother in a separate estate.
Logan walked through the door into the top floor office of his father's. It was only an office in name as it took up almost the entire top floor, with only a lift, waiting area and living quarters taking up the rest. The main room was decorated with a wide assortment of weapons, from swords and knives to handguns and assault rifles. On his desk were his pride and joy; customised Glock 17s.
"Hello Father, are you well?" Logan asked as he stood in front of his father's desk.
"Very well thank you. Our food and ore production facilities have increased their efficiency another 10%," Mathew commented. "But I doubt that is why you have come to visit me here today. The last time you were here was when you told me that you had seduced my secretary and had sex with her on my own desk, an hour before I arrived."
Logan knew is father was trying to lighten the mood and so Logan replied, "I felt it only proper to tell you. It was, after all, your desk and your secretary."
Mathew couldn't keep a straight face any longer and broke down into laughter. Logan allowed himself a grin but kept silent.
"Touché," Mathew stated as he settled down. He looked around his office before facing back to his son. "You passed your test then."
Logan understood that his father had stated that, rather then asked, and merely nodded in reply.
"When do you wish to leave?" Mathew asked. He had known this day was coming but still didn't want to accept that it had indeed come.
"As soon as I can acquire a ship and a small crew," Logan explained.
"Have you told anyone else? Your sisters or mother?" Mathew asked. He was already planning what he was going to do.
"Not yet. I am going to tell them at dinner this evening. I felt I should tell you first as you are my father," Logan explained.
"Thank you for the consideration. What kind of ship and crew were you seeking to acquire?" Mathew asked his son.
"Something small, fast, moderately armed with good stealth capabilities. Self-sufficient for between 6 and 9 months, crew should be between 3-6 and maybe a few bots. I'm still working out the fine details but when I do, I'll let you know," Logan said.
"Thank you. As much as you would like to do it yourself, I would like to help in anyway I could. Our house has resources that could be put to good use," Mathew said.
"Thank you for the offer," Logan said. He was grateful for the offer but was a little upset that the House had come into the conversation. He had tried to avoid it in his life as much as he could and grow as a person on merit alone but it had always slipped in a little everywhere. At least he could be grateful that he wasn't the house heir; that honour went to his brother, the son of his father's first wife. "I must be off; I have a dinner to attend."
"I don't envy you," Mathew said with a chuckle as Logan walked out of his office with a wave. He smiled at the secretary, who smiled back, both remembering what they had done almost 3 years previous. Logan had been just 15 then, and exploring sex in as many forms as he could. Logan took one last look at her as the elevator doors closed and he started to descend.
On ground level, Logan exited the elevator and calmly walked through the lobby and out the door into a waiting limo. As soon as his door was closed, it pulled away from the curb as Logan indicated for the driver to take him home. With an hour trip in front of him, Logan sat back and recalled everything that had changed that brought him to this moment.
It all started on July 3rd, 2006. 2004 XP14, a near earth asteroid passed within 500,000km of Earth. Everybody expected it to continue on its way and were completely and utterly surprised when it started to slow and settled into an orbit similar to the moon's. What followed next was both historical and eye-opening. Exactly 24 hours after the asteroid slowed, Earth received its first communication from a non-terrestrial intelligence.
The Raenil, as they were called, were a civilisation that travelled the Galaxy, exploring it to meet new races and to try and understand everything that they had seen from the land on their home world. The asteroid was hollowed out and used as a spacecraft, allowing them to travel relatively safely through hundreds of systems, exploring them. When they detected how advanced our world was, they decided to make contact with us and pass on some gifts.
They didn't stay long, only 3 months, but in that time they changed the course of humanity with the technology they left behind. It wasn't much, but its value was beyond comprehension.
Fusion reactor technology was shared and humans now had a clean and relatively plentiful source of power. Medical technology was given which doubled the human lifespan and cured almost all diseases on Earth. Computer and robotics technology was revealed that humans had only dreamed about and were decades away from developing. Humans developed their first true AI just one year after the Raenil left. The last three gifts were meant to encourage Humans to explore more and they did just that.
The Fusion reactor technology allowed humans to progress to the stars. The Raenil assisted this by providing Earth with hyperdrive technology, shield technology and star charts of 12 habitable worlds relatively close to Earth. What followed was the largest explosion in human population that anybody had seen or predicted.
The world came together and ships were quickly built that were soon travelling out across the stars and colonising these new worlds and others that they found along the way. By 2025, the human population was over 15 billion and steadily climbing. The 13 largest worlds each came together to form houses which would control the planet and represent them in interstellar affairs. These Houses didn't always get along with each other and even had a war or two between some of them as time passed. The remaining worlds were essentially ungoverned and laws were enforced at the end of a weapon.
With the arrival of the Raenil, weapons research had stalled to a point of non existence and was only now starting to redevelop. As it stood, the tech level for personal weapons was equal to late 20th, early 21st century Earth. The only advances that had been made were a combat suit for soldiers to wear and particle beam weapons for the spacecraft.
Now, in the year 2127, with the human population reaching almost 46 billion, people were starting to think about exploration again as they looked up at the strange star constellations above their worlds. And that was what Logan was going after.
Growing up as the second son of a House Lord wasn't so bad, but as the son of the second wife, it was unlikely that he would ever be the Lord. His older brother Robert was the heir and if anything happened to him, Brian and Steven, also sons of the first wife were waiting. Not that Logan wanted to be a Lord. He cherished freedom and as soon as he was old enough, he sought it, joining the Spacers Guild and learning everything he needed to know about spaceflight. Now that he had passed his final test, he was free to travel as he would.
The limousine pulled into the estate that his mother called home and drove up the drive to the front door. As soon as the car had stopped, Logan climbed out and climbed the stairs to the door, the limo driving off behind him.
As Logan walked into his home he was confronted by the distinctly feminine air of it. Of course a house populated almost entirely by females would have a distinctive air. He started to search the house, trying to locate his mother. He eventually found her in an upstairs sitting room, with all his sisters.
"Oh good, you're home Logan, we were just talking about you. How was your test?" Logan's mother asked as he entered. Logan could already feel something was going on but decided to play ball.
"It went well, I got the highest score on the test with a 98% and the only other score over 80 was a 97% by some home schooled girl," Logan replied. He watched as all his sisters and his mother exchanged looks before turning to him again.
"That's excellent; I guess that means you will be leaving soon then. That is, if you are anything like your forefathers," his mother said. Logan was surprised; he had not known they were spacers.
"What do you mean? None of them are spacers, they run the house," Logan said in surprise.
"Nonsense, all of the male descendents of House Jacobs have passed through the Spacers Guild. The only difference this generation will make is that the first sons will not be joining the Scouts and Explorers Guild. That will be your honour alone," his mother revealed to Logan.
"You knew?" Logan asked in astonishment.
"Of course we knew. As soon as you applied, your father was informed by the headmaster, his old teacher and your great grandfather's old classmate. He then, in turn, informed us. Not that you could hide it from your twin anyway. Morgan knew before any of us," his mother replied. Logan looked across at his twin sister and a thought sprung to his head.
"It was you! You were the girl to get 97% in the test. We have always been close in anything we chose to do together and this was no different. But why?" Logan asked, slightly confused.
"Are we so different Logan? I am your twin; we are both exceptionally good at the same things, why would I not yearn for the same freedom that you want?" Morgan said, speaking for the first time since Logan's arrival.
"No we're not but I thought you weren't interested in space," Logan said rather stupidly.
"Well I am so you will just have to get used to that idea," Morgan said with a smile.
"Guess that means that I will just have to make sure to avoid your ship then," Logan said with a smile.
"You're not going to join the Scouts then?" Morgan asked with a smile.
"You're not?" Logan asked in disbelief.
"Yep, I'm going to be on your ship, one way or another," Morgan said with an even bigger smile.
"Aww nuts," Logan said as he dropped his head to his chest.